Jenny, Other/Just Looking in Inver Grove Heights,...

I started a cleaning business and i am trying to find out when i clean the reo homes do they pay me first before the job is finish or do i have to

Asked by Jenny, Inver Grove Heights, MN Mon Jan 11, 2010

use my money to clean, repairing of the house etc

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One thing I think is overlooked by many asking about cleaning businesses is that there's nothing unique, nothing particularly different, about REO cleaning services. The marketing differs slightly from that of regular cleaning businesses, but otherwise it's all the same.

Put your mindset into "starting a business" frame. And you're starting a commercial cleaning business (even though what your cleaning are structurally homes and not stores or manufacturing plants).

The Small Business Administration has plenty of free information on how to start a small business. In the cleaning area, Building Service Contractors Association International ( ) has plenty of information on how to start and operate a commercial janitorial and custodial business. (Disclaimer: I used to work for BSCAI and wrote or edited many of their books on the subject.)

The keys to success are marketing, pricing, labor management, and business management. The work itself is fairly easy. But you need to market properly to get the jobs. You need to price it right--and every company's price structure is different. You need to handle your employees or independent contractors. (Many companies find that the most difficult part, with pricing a close second.) And you need to handle it like any business--decent financials, knowing your costs, keeping good records, and so on.

The question you posed indicates that you need to learn more about the industry. My advice: Get a job with a cleaning company. See how it actually operates from the inside. See what works and what doesn't. You don't have to be there a long time--6-9 months will give you a lot of the experience necessary. Then, if you wish, go off on your own. But it'll be the best 6-9 month education you can get--and you'll actually get paid for doing it.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 11, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
it takes 30 day for the bank to pay
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 22, 2012
Jenny, generally you will come out of pocket for the job and you will get paid after. Some companies pay quickly, but many of them take 60, 90-, 120 days plus to pay. Keep good foreclosure cleanup records and take tons of before and after photos. You can consider factoring your invoices (selling your invoices to a factor) for a small percentage of the monies due you to get paid faster (normal industry practice). Much success to you!

Cassandra Black, Consultant/Author, CEO, Foreclosure Cleanup, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 11, 2011
Jenny, there are new requirements for homes that were built prior to 1978. You will have to be certified to handle Lead Based Paint. Here is a link to the Minnesota Dept of Healty website with information about the new EPA rules and requirements:

Also Don's response is excellent. You should also check into the requirements for the disposal of hazardous items: flourscent bulbs, oil, paint, car batteries, chemicals, CRT type monitors, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 29, 2010
that should say a month later...not a certificate a month
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 9, 2010
just a fyi update...this work as well as almost all home repair stuff we do in pre-1978 dwellings now requires by 4/22/10 you be epa certified in lead based paint. Youmust take an 8 hour class for $200-$300 to receive a certificate a month that you can send off to the government to apply for your required epa lead based paint certificate that cost a few hundred more and takes another month to get...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 9, 2010
Jenny, It depends on your contract and or service agreement. I know the asset management company I work with requires proof of extent of job and proof of completion on top of billing all within 24 hours. I put together a small crew and we are working houses on the North side our asset management company. We are then paid with 30 to 45 days of our invoice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 1, 2010
always after... you take a risk for sure, it's not unlike going to the casino but your odds are better. network as much as possible....visit realtors and make yourself known....when given an opportunity, offer a fair price and give 110% even if it costs you $. this will result in repeat business. I am willing to lose money on jobs to have the opportunity to make some on others and stay afloat.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 12, 2010
Jenny you will have to complete the work before you are paid. As a business owner you are responsible for providing your own equipment and supllies to get the job completed. You should contact the leading reo brokers in your area, visit there offices and let them know what you can do, if you provide free estimates, a price at or below market value, do a great job and be flexable with your billing. You will be able to garner some business. Good luck with your new business
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 11, 2010

Generally, you are paid for your services after you have completed the job. You would be responsible for providing your own cleaning supplies and the cost for the removal of trash. These expenses should be figured into your estimate for doing the clean out and approved by the owner prior to doing the work.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 11, 2010
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